WEIGHT 210 lbs
BODY FAT 36%
WEIGHT 129 lbs
BODY FAT 14%
I have always been told it was easy to become fat in my family, but it didn't hit me until adolescence. Conditions like diabetes and coronary heart disease are prevalent in my family. Because I wore a school uniform every day, I didn't notice myself gaining weight and risking the development of disease.
At age 17, I got into college and ate junk food almost every day. I had the wrong idea that if I ate natural, homemade foods, or vegetables, I was eating healthy. At age 18, I lived alone in a studio apartment near campus. One day, my best friend made me weigh myself in a department store. I was convinced that 10 pounds were from shoes and clothes and another 10 pounds was from my boobs. I was blind to my weight because I never had issues attracting guys.
At 5-foot-7 and 210 pounds, I couldn't go upstairs without feeling fatigued, or swim. I wasn't wearing a bikini anymore and didn't like shopping. It was okay when I was a size large, but extra large was too far. The first time I saw a picture of myself at that weight, I secretly started to cry and hate myself. It was a matter of many factors, including health, self-esteem, and money. I had so many excuses for being fat.
I was tired of excuses. I was 18 and didn't need my parents' authorization to enroll at a gym. If I was going to make a lifestyle change, it had to be forever. I didn't know how to start, so I looked for information on the internet. The gym staff was helpful. Even though I had no money for a personal trainer they were always willing to help me.
I was doing everything exclusively for me and owned a three-year gym membership. I joined initially with a good friend to motivate each other, but he went for the first week and never came back. I didn't let that stop me. I followed the suggestions of experienced people and Bodybuilding.com. When I joined the gym, I was already 14 pounds lighter thanks to a detox diet, and in a matter of six months I was at 147 pounds.
My only fat burner in the beginning was coffee. I never had a clear goal; I wanted to lose 15 pounds, then another 10, and so on. I started to enjoy exercise, the experience, a clear state of mind, and the low stress. I love the feeling after cycling class. During this time, I learned lots about proper nutrition and made permanent changes to avoid alcohol, switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, and to quit soda and sugary juices. I also tried to keep a couple granola bars in my purse everywhere I went.
After a year, I was busy with college finals and eventually stopped going to the gym and eating healthy. I was always studying and with my mates. My brain needed sugar. I didn't care until the scale went up again. I tried going to the gym again, but it wasn't the same. I was 163 pounds, traveled, and tasted every new food. The cellulite came back again.
My role models helped me stay motivated through their transformation stories. But, of course, I had my moments where I nearly quit. Two things kept me going. The first was that I knew the results of unhealthy eating. The second was my boyfriend who started training with me. He taught me how to train hard and keep going. Training with my significant other was one of the best things I could do. He is dedicated. It's important to have a partner who supports you. Healthy living must be for your entire life.
The opportunity to participate in the most important beauty pageant in my country, Miss Universe Puerto Rico, where I became Miss Universe San Sebastián, was a game changer. I never dreamed about being in a beauty pageant because I thought it was impossible. Thanks to the assistance of my promoter, Diana Monteiro and her Miss Latin International US Organization, I was able to pull it off.
I got in the best shape of my life without looking too muscular. Now my story is well known around the world, especially in Brazil, where I had my first TV appearance.
The most difficult aspect for me was the diet; waiting until the weekend for a cheat meal was very difficult. I never could quit chocolate, so I ate a little square of dark chocolate almost every day. Avoiding a very strict diet helped me maintain my results because I didn't get bored of healthy food.
I love to cook, so I always tried finding recipes using fat-free ingredients. Another difficult aspect was finishing my workout at the gym when it was full of people or when my boyfriend finished before me.
I'm planning to become a certified personal trainer. I have many interested clients, but I want to do it the responsible way and learn simultaneously. Because I have so many people asking for advice, I'll release a brand new website with articles and lots of advice based on my experience. For now, I want to be in the best shape of my life.
- Drink as much water as you can.
- Never starve yourself; always carry snacks to eat every 2-3 hours.
- There are no excuses not to be healthy.
- Read every article you can about fitness and nutrition.
- Surround yourself with people who have similar interests and support your goals.
- Never quit exercising.
- Take pictures in underwear.
- Always moisturize your skin to avoid stretch marks.
- For the ladies: Don't be afraid of weights.
The first time I entered to Bodybuilding.com was to buy my boyfriend something. I became addicted. Bodybuilding.com has everything. I'm really sad I didn't discover it before. There are many reasons to love this site:
- Best prices
- Best products
- Very good articles
- Nutrition and training information
- The Forums
I would like to thank all the people who helped me through this journey:
- Miss Latin US International Organization
- My promoter Diana Monteiro and Esteban Ramírez for trusting me.
- Ismael Méndez for providing the opportunity and knowledge to be successful at a beauty pageant.
- Alberto Cerro for being there for me during the last 10 years.
- To my brothers and sisters for being so proud of me.
- To the Grossen's family for giving me so much support and making me feel like I'm part of your family.
- To photographer Felipe Torres for the awesome pink swimsuit picture.